Many people don’t want to hear this. But, yes, it is a good idea to write down what you plan to say.
Sure, it’s a lot of work. But despite how the vast majority of speakers seem to operate, just winging it isn’t good enough.
Once you have a firm handle on which ideas you’re going to discuss, you can start working on a script for your talk that will include your entire presentation—what you’ll say, how you’re going to say it, things that aren’t going to be on your slides, any ideas you have for visuals before you start creating slides, interactions you have planned with the audience.
We’re not saying that your final presentation should involve reading the script. It absolutely shouldn’t. But writing everything out gives you the chance to see if your ideas are really working together and to make an overall plan for how you want a presentation to go.
This is where you figure out the flow of your argument and write up the “performance” part of your talk. It’s the most important step for creating an impressively polished presentation. Once you have the scripting all figured out you should be ready to deliver your talk if you absolutely had to. You don’t have visual aids yet, but that’s OK because you have an argument to persuade your audience.